The Linthorpe Stag (Middlesbrough, Unknown, c.1900)

Image by Katie Lunn

For over 100 years the Linthorpe Stag has watched over the village. Standing on top of the building once known as Winterschladen’s (a wine and spirit sellers), the Stag has endured the many changes that have taken place beneath it.

In his wonderful book ”Linthorpe and its Village”, the late Paul Stephenson discussed the significance and history of the Stag,

“[A] prominent survivor from the earliest days of the twentieth century is the locally famous ‘Stag’. Known over the years as the ‘Golden Hind’ and later the ‘Stag’, its origins and purpose seem to be lost in time. Elderly residents remember the Golden Hind’ from Edwardian days.”

An image of Winterschladen’s store from one of their brochures.

It’s not known whose work the piece is, and an attempt to have the Stag listed in a protection order in 2012/13 came to naught, but it still remains above what is now a cafe.

Broken Antlers

The stag’s antlers have been a bone (sorry) of contention over the years. I had a lovely chat with the irrepressible Rene Porteous, who told me the story behind them.

According to Rene, the originals were damaged in a bombing raid in the war (we’re looking for confirmation on this if anyone has any), and the stag remained antler-less for about 50 years until – in or around 1991 – artist Glynn Porteous was commissioned by Stag Properties to create a replacement set.

For the princely sum of £100, Glynn created the fine antlers you can see in the newspaper cutting above. The new pair were made using modelling clay over metal armatures, and took about a week to complete.

Glynn wasn’t happy with the incorrect positioning of the antlers (Rene told me they were stuck on wrong by a tradesman), but his fear of heights prevented him from going up to adjust them.

Unfortunately the antlers tended to attract the attention of locals who’d had a few drinks. Underwear was sometimes seen hanging from them, and they were eventually broken off and taken by persons unknown.

A new set were commissioned and completed by an as-yet unidentified artist whose work is – as you can see – not exactly of the same standard as Porteous’s, being more in the coat-rack neighborhood than the cervine.

Once again, any information is gratefully received in the comments. Thanks to Rene for her time and the newspaper cutting, as well as Katie Lunn for the newer photo. Thanks also to Richard Winterschladen and Norman Austick for their contributions.

3 thoughts on “The Linthorpe Stag (Middlesbrough, Unknown, c.1900)

  1. Chris Bailey April 8, 2022 / 2:50 pm

    Are we certain of the date of this building? It appears to use the same brick-stock and fenestration as the former McAdams car-showrooms/garage to the corner of Kensington Rd(now a Convenience store) which I believe was erected just prior to WWI in an ‘art-deco’ reference style. That building replaced a timber ‘garage’ structure operated by the McAdams, and had a, spacious, luxury apartment (inc lighting and bathroom fittings chosen at the Daily Mail ‘Ideal Home” Exhibition of 1936) to the 1st floor (later converted to a snooker-club), occupied by the McAdam family. The McAdam’s were friends of the Winterschladen family and as such may possibly have used the same Architect?


    • Daniel Cochran April 8, 2022 / 2:56 pm

      Hi Chris. I don’t think I put a definite date for the building (I definitely don’t have one). Do you mean the c.1900? That’s just a rough estimate based on discussions with a few of the people involved but it’s by no means a certainty so you could be right. I’m sure there’s something in the Archives but unfortunately they’re still inaccessible.


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